Monday, January 21, 2013

Beth Duncan - Comes The Fall

Jazz Artist Beth Duncan “Comes The Fall”

Jazz Artist Beth Duncan “Comes The Fall”

Beth DuncanRomantic music is always welcome in my playlist. Add to that a first class jazz production with with an exceptional voice like Beth Duncan’s, and you have an inkling of an idea as to how good her new album, “Comes The Fall” is. “Come This Fall” is a 14 course (track) gourmet feast for the ears. The rhythm section arranging was done with guitarist Steve Homan, Mike McMullen on tenor and flute, Bill Douglass on bass, and drummer/producer Guy Kowarsh who is also the CD’s producer. Featured on this session are Jim Martinez on keyboards, Babatunde Lea and Brian Kendrick on percussion. and Steve Roach on trumpet solos.
In jazz, it’s all about your sound, and Beth Duncan is blessed with a voice that has great musical range, and tonal color. She creates an enchanting blend with the tenor sax on her title track “Come This Fall”. The opening phrases immediately catch your attention, and the strings Jim Martinez provides on the keys add sweet elegance to the arrangement.
Ms Duncan’s phrasing shines on “How High The Moon”, with the duet of voice and percussion leading to solos with the harmon muted trumpet of Steve Roach, and impressive guitar voicings from Steve Homan. Listening to this cut, one notices how clean the brushes from the drummer sound as he swings the band along with solid bass from Bill Douglass. The mix throughout the cd is excellent.
One note about the great arranging, and what I found especially enjoyable was when Beth vocalizes with the ensemble such as with the sax on “Come This Fall”, and with the guitar and flute on the jazz waltz, “I’m On A Cloud”. Recently it was only Esperanza, or the Grammy nominated Denise Donatelli’s “When Lights Are Low” where I could hear intricate voice with ensemble on this level. Kudos to Steve Homan and Beth Duncan’s great talent. As a jazz musician, and radio host at KJZZ, Phoenix, I would not hesitate to recommend this to my listeners, or radio program directors across the country. If you still need convincing cue up “Embraceable You”, with voice and bass. It’s happening.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Kevin Smith Taps Maker Studios for YouTube Channel (Video)

The new-media entity has already partnered with Robert De Niro and Snoop Dogg, and more such relationships are in store.

Kevin Smith has partnered with Maker Studios, which will help the actor-director-producer to program and market his SeeSMod YouTube channel, the two are set to announce today.
Outside of a splitting of ad-driven revenue, financial details of the arrangement weren’t disclosed.
Maker Studio, which bills itself as a “next-generation talent first media company,” recently closed a Series C financing round led by Time Warner Investments. The company owns a handful of YouTube channels but has partnerships with about 5,000 of them, including many of the most  popular ones.
The company’s most popular partnership, for example, is with a channel called Epic Rap Battles of History, which boasts 30 million views per episode. A recent episode (video of which is below) has Santa Claus and his elves squaring off against Moses, with the latter rapping: “It takes nine reindeer to haul your fat ass; you took the Christ outta Christmas and just added more mass … stop with the unpaid labor and let my little people go.”
Maker Studio also has partnerships with Snoop Dogg’s WestfestTV and Robert De Niro’s Tribeca Enterprises, and more relationships with mainstream Hollywood artists are expected.

As for Smith, he launched SeeSMod (the moniker is a mash-up of his name, that of partner Scott Mosier and the word “podcast”) in May but re-launched it on Jan. 7 with help from Maker Studio and a revamped programming lineup that the partners hope will strike a chord with audiences and advertisers. One way Maker Studios will boost traffic at SeeSMod is by cross-pollinating Smith with other popular YouTube channels.
“I’m an old moviemaker, unfamiliar with the newfangled ways of the YouTube generation,” Smith joked. “Getting in bed with Maker allows me and SModCo to learn how the cool kids do things. I look forward to their patience as they teach a fat Padawan how to be a Jedi at YouTube the Maker way, and I plan to shoe-horn myself into all their fine programs.”

Monday, January 7, 2013


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